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AF Association
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Newbie looking for advice

Hi I am new to the community , i had my first AF attack following a festival and probably drinking to much and staying up late 5yrs ago , ED admission and reverted back after 12hrs with beta blocker , i had one similar episode six months later under similar circumstances and outcomes . I then didnt have an episode for 5yrs i was not prescribed any medication. I am now 50 and in the last 6months had 3 . This has been x2 with alcohol (ED but reverted after 12 hrs –beta blocker) and one following the death of my father recently which was reverted with pill in pocket . All episodes have ran alongside stress of work and life events. I have had ecg , BP , Echo and Holter tape all which showed no structural prolems or damage to my heart etc that is contributing . However docs wanting to start of Bisopropolol and Flecanide small doses but I think its too early for meds and want to try life style changes before meds . Very grateful for any thoughts on this

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Just read your post.

I have had PAF for 9 years and during one of my visits to A and E was told by a Doctor that a large percentage of young people brought into A and E over the weekend are suffering with AF as a result of too much alcohol.

I have noticed that a tot of whisky is like an electric shock to the heart and can trigger an arrhythmia but not all alcohol although I don't drink a lot anyway.

It might be better not to drink than take meds you are not happy with

I was prescribed 1.25 Bisoprolol and it has such an effect both on my weight and my BP and pulse rate that I have now stopped taking it altogether although I only resorted to it with a long arrhythmia or if my heart was really bouncing about. I eventually ended up in A and E following an arrhythmia and Bisoprolol with heart rate of 36 bpm but have also had low BP when I have fainted which out in public makes me feel very uncomfortable. The Electrophysiologists agreed with my only taking it if I felt I needed to but nurses and paramedics were quite bullying

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thanks P , i am always wiped after taking meds they make me feel horrible want to exhaust lifestyle changes to hopefully have another 5 yrs without incident and I think pill in pocket is useful back up

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Beta blockers contributed to a five stone weight gain 11 years ago until I was referred for Flutter ablation and elected to stop having discussed the problem with the Professor treating me. He said so e people ate just VERY sensitive to them. My husband takes 10mg of Bisoprolol a day and isnt affected at all so everybody is different.

I also find Ace Inhibitors make me sloth like but liven up if I forget to take them. I hate all medication!

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I'm on 5mg bisoprolol , ramapril, Statin and Rivaroxaban .. I feel ok and weight is fine.... The long run could be different though?

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alcohol is a well known trigger- I would advise you to stop drinking and to make sure you have enough rest- and a good diet with plenty of fruit/veg and no processed food. Hopefully, if you do this now you will be well in the future

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I know everyone is different, and I am certain that alcohol is not a trigger for me, as I have often over-indulged with no ill effects (other than the usual!). I am now suspecting that either getting cold, or going hungry too long may be my triggers (one begets the other, both ways).

PiP sounds ideal for you.

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Thanks M , it's odd in the 5yrs PAF free I regularly took alcohol and with no episodes . I am beginning to think it's a cake mix with more than one ingredient that instigates my fast AF . Stress being a big one and I also think vagus nerve stimulation but need directed to more research on same

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Odd that you mention the cold: my Afib always gets most active in the months of Jan., Feb., and March. I live in Michigan, USA. Those are our coldest, dampest months. I am wondering if anyone else notices an uptick in episodes during the cold months?

Also, I for a long time thought that alcohol was a trigger for me, but I either do not have them because of the Flec. I take or it is not a trigger. I dring regularly, and do notice ecoptics a lot but no racing heart. I stopped drinking in the winter last year and the Afib continued to plaue me. Doctor upped my Flec to 200mg a day right about the time the weather broke and Afib went away so I cannot tell if it was the meds or the weather breaking that helped. Any sggestions?

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My mother has afib for 25 yrs. Alcohol was a big trigger for her. She has cut down her social drinking to only a "few and far between" celebrations these days, but when she has one glass of wine, a beer, or even a martini, BOOM! The afib comes on for days. This can't be dismissed. She was in denial about it, but most people who enjoy their cocktail are in denial. Just an observation......

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Hi Stuart. Reading your post was a bit like reading my past history! My AF first emerged when I was 35. Stressed out work style, long drives night and day, occasional heavy drinking sessions, working hard and playing hard. The AF was sorted and off I went, following this life style for 4 or 5 years and it happened again. And again. When I eased off this life style I definitely went for several years between AF events.

I definitely think your idea of switching to a simpler and easier living pattern will improve things. You may need some sort of medical regulation but check this with your doctors. Hardest part will be to avoid stress which can be so damaging. Give it a go and good luck.

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Thanks D , stress is very much under played . Good to hear your story and that you had positive outcome . My PAF attacks were so violent awful feeling and so scary !

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Hi Stuart.

Again, reading your story is like reading mine. And I have the same attitude to medication. But...

Alcohol. A no-no for me and I've kicked it into touch and it's the best thing I've done. At first I hated the idea but I've sorted my head out and now can''t really understand why I did so much of it. No hangovers, foolish antics or inappropriate flirting....

Stress. I always denied it when people suggested it. Mr Coolhead me. But I now see that it is the main key to dealing with my AF.

Meds. I have avoided any medication or actually any treatment at all for many years, and been lucky enough to survive. But the AF has progressed and I now take the minimum possible Flecainide and Bisoprolol. I have also reserved ablation until I am sure all else has failed. However, I'm now a few years older and know that earlier treatment (ablation in particular) is likely to have worked better at an earlier stage. Also, they may refuse me an ablation at all in a few years time. So it's all a calculated risk strategy which I might really regret later on.

As we keep saying - we're all different, and every decision we take is personal and about balancing one unpleasant risk against another.

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